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Report: Baby Magic (and others) Contain Formaldehyde and 1,4-Dioxane

Is formaldehyde the "magic" in Baby Magic?

Is formaldehyde the "magic" in Baby Magic?

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A new report released regarding a study of 48 different baby bath products revealed that 28 of them contained the contaminants formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, both of which are known carcinogens.   The report stresses that these substances are not intentionally added and so do not show up on an ingredient list.  They are contaminants in the true sense of the word, a byproduct of the manufacturing and production of certain ingredients, but certainly avoidable.

Among the worst was Baby Magic, which contained the highest levels of formaldehyde, and American Girl products, which were found to contain the highest levels of dioxane.  Consumers beware!  For more information about harmful products may be in your personal hygiene products, visit the Cosmetics Database at EWG.org.

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U.S. News: Children’s Bath Products Contain Contaminants

U.S. News and World Report, By Amanda Gardner
Published March 12, 2009

THURSDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) — Many baby and child-care products contain the chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, both of which have been linked to cancer and various skin conditions, a new report contends.

But the chemicals aren’t listed on the labels of bubble bath, shampoo and other common products, according to the report from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic Use.

“Companies can obviously do better, and we need to demand that they do better,” said Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic Use and co-author of the report, released Thursday. “Many companies are already making great products that don’t have any of these chemicals [and] many companies in the natural products industry have reformulated to get rid of that problem. We also know many companies are using preservatives that don’t use formaldehyde.”

According to the authors, the report, called No More Toxic Tub, is the first to document contamination of children’s products with these chemicals. The Environmental Working Group was involved in the analyses.

Both formaldehyde and dioxane are considered “contaminants,” Malkan said.

A contaminant “is a chemical that is not intentionally added to the product but is a byproduct,” she said. “Those are all exempt from labeling laws … Companies don’t even have to know themselves.”

Dioxane is a byproduct of chemical processing and formaldehyde is released from some of the chemicals that are used as preservatives, Malkan said.

John Bailey is chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council, a national trade association for the cosmetic and personal care products industry. Responding to the report, he said, “These are issues that have been around for many, many years, so it’s not new news. The thing that impressed me was the low levels of dioxane that were found in these products, which indicates to me that the industry is doing its job in keeping this potential contaminant down to a low level.”

Bailey also said there were wasn’t enough information in the report to gauge how accurate the determinations of formaldehyde levels were.

Malkan and her co-authors tested 48 bubble baths, shampoos and other baby and children’s products for dioxane and 28 of those products for formaldehyde.

Among their findings:

* Almost two-thirds of the 28 products contained both chemicals, including Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash.
* Eighty-two percent of products tested contained formaldehyde; the highest levels were found in Baby Magic Baby Lotion.
* American Girl shower products had the highest levels of dioxane among products tested.

“The good news is that there are great products without any of these chemicals,” Malkan said. “The challenge is you have to do some research to find them. It’s not a simple matter of looking at the label.”

According to Malkan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture “organic seal” indicates that none of these chemicals are present.

“The best advice for consumers is that simple is better, products with fewer ingredients overall,” she said. “There are things consumers can do to make better choices at the store but we also need to change regulations and require companies to list all ingredients in the products and to make the safest products they can, especially products for babies.”

Harmful chemicals and contaminants in children’s products is a subject of continuing controversy. Earlier this week, it was announced that baby bottles made with the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) will no longer be sold in the United States by the six largest manufacturers of the products.

BPA, which is found in a wide range of products, mimics the hormone estrogen and may disrupt the body’s endocrine system. The chemical poses a particular threat to fetuses, infants and children because it can interfere with cell function when their bodies are still developing, public health experts say. The chemical has been linked with diabetes, heart disease, cancer and developmental delays in children.

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Produce Consumer’s Best Friend

When shopping for organic produce, what items are 'ok' to buy conventional?

When shopping for organic produce, what items are 'ok' to buy conventional?

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For those of you who may not already know, one of my areas of interest include the problem of human body pollution, also called the human body burden (* see also the Human Toxome Project).  One of the ways that consumers can help minimize the number of harmful chemicals our bodies are exposed to is by choosing organic products.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)  has done outstanding work over the past few years raising the awareness of this problem, which I believe is even more pressing than Global Warming.  For example, they have developed a database of consumer hygiene products, which consumers can use free of charge to discover just how toxic or Earth-friendly the product it.

They also have a Produce Shopper’s Guide, listing the dirty dozen of produce – that is, those types of produce that were tested and found to contain high levels of synthetic pesticides and other chemicals.  The list also provides a list of 15 of the “cleanest” produce varieties, in a downloadable and printable business card format for ease in shopping.   I call this the produce shopper’s best friend.   If you can’t afford to buy all organic, or not all varieties are available at your local store, use this guide to help shop for the varieties that are “cleaner” for you and your family.

Stop by and download the newest version, updated this week at EWG.org.

 

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An Environmental Issue More Pressing Than Global Warming

Gas masks: freakish fashion trend of the future? The body burden our children are inheriting might make this an unavoidable accessory.

One of the main issues this blog addresses and one which I regularly speak to friends and family about is the human body burden. The phrase “body burden” refers to the condition of body toxicity that has resulted from the use of largely synthetic chemicals since the early 1900’s. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens, neurotoxins, hormone disruptors, and wreak havoc on many systems within the body. The health effects range from common to severe, from headaches and mild gastrointestinal problems to cancer, permanent syndromes and even death.

Every human being on this planet shares in this body burden.

Because the previous statement is so important, I’ll repeat it again: Every human being on this planet shares in this body burden.

While I do not want people running around scared and paranoid about toxic chemicals in their body, I also do not encourage ignorance of real problems that confront us because of our collective actions as the human species. Body pollution is one of those serious concerns that should not be ignored. While many people suffer from unexplainable illnesses, the prevalence of cancer is rising, the development of new illnesses and syndromes is on the rise, and many are suffering from hormone imbalances, reproductive problems and mental disturbances, it behooves us as a species to understand that there are explainable causes to all of these.

One major contributor to our deterioration in health and the rise in preventable diseases (yes, preventable) is the presence of up to 700 toxic chemicals in our body and bloodstream.

According to studies released by the Environmental Working Group and the EPA, blood and tissue samples of several random American citizens revealed the shocking truth: all of us, whether or not we work around hazardous chemicals or live near facilities that handle toxins or release them into the atmosphere, are plagued by the presence of these toxins, many of which are bioaccumulative. This means that trace amounts, over time, build up within our bones, our organs and our tissues and produce significant systemic results, including cancer and death.

These chemicals are in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the toys we play with, the personal hygiene products we smear on our bodies, the cleaning products we use, the fragrances we douse ourselves with, and the items we use at our workplace. We live in a toxic atmosphere created by the technologies, manufacturing, and industrial endeavors of our species.

Most of this has occurred within the past 100 years and is reversible at this stage. The longer we wait, the more we pollute ourselves and our environment, the more difficult it becomes to reduce our exposure to these chemicals. Future generations will, therefore, have to suffer an even greater burden.

In fact, recent studies of umbilical cord blood in newborns revealed a shocking discovery: our babies are being born with this burden as well!

Research shows that many of these chemicals easily pass through the placenta and concentrate in the developing fetus. Can you imagine what these chemicals can do to such a vulnerable body and brain? While scientists and doctors remain baffled regarding the rise in autism, developmental disorders, mental conditions and other problems, the culprit could very well be the chemical cocktail we serve up on a daily basis in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, churches and workplaces.

Currently, there is a movie in production called 287, which tackles these important issues and will present them to the larger viewing audience. The producers want 287 to be “for your internal environment” what Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was for the external environment. I have many reservations about Al Gore’s movie and his conclusions, but after spending much time researching the “body burden”, I believe this issue to be even more important than global warming.

According to the Environmental Working Group in 2005, children are born into this world with an average of 287 toxic chemicals in their system. 287 reasons for Americans and citizens of the world to take pause and grapple with this problem. It is not going away, it will not get better if we continue staying the course we are on to our own destruction. Fixing the problem means a radical, personal change on a collective level.

I encourage everyone to read more about our Body Burden at ewg.org. I ask that you help the producers of 287 with any support or assistance you can provide. Frequent the 287 The Movie blog here at WordPress. Find out your own personal Body Burden (this site may take a few moments to load). Use the personal hygiene products database to clean out your medicine cabinet and replace the products with healthier versions. Check back with Toxin Free Now as they develop their website to help you live healthier. Research the common chemical culprits that are widespread in our society. Stand up and fight the bureaucracies that are maintaining our current course. Talk to others about the burden we all share.

Many of these toxins can be removed by our personal and collective choices. As a consumer, you can make a large impact as many of the largest offenders are manufacturers of household cleaning products and personal hygiene products.

What are some things that have I done? It’s not much, but it’s what anyone can do:

Switched to an organic diet. My animals, too.

Eliminated all toxins from the foods I eat (mostly present in processed foods).

Changed and stopped using many personal hygiene products.

Stopped wearing fragrance.

Purify all of my water for drinking and cooking.

Switched household cleaners to “green” versions.

Educate others around me.

 

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EPA to Eliminate Regulation of Neurotoxin in Drinking Water

Nothing is more plentiful in the world, nor more vital for our existence than water. Water is essential for all functions within the body, but especially for transferring nutrients and eliminating wastes. When drinking water is contaminated, the body is especially vulnerable to accumulated toxins, so it makes sense to have the cleanest drinking water obtainable for optimum health. In my opinion, the decision by the EPA and the Bush Administration to exempt the ubiquitous neurotoxin, perchlorate, from federal regulation and oversight is a step in the wrong direction. Just like earlier decisions to fluoridate public drinking water, putting a known toxin IN the water, this decision just stinks. For those of you who are not familiar with perchlorate or its associated health effects, it is worth your time to check out the information at ewg.org.

Perchlorate is a common additive in rocket fuel, which has known neurotoxic effects on humans.

Perchlorate is a common additive in rocket fuel, which has known neurotoxic effects on humans.

Feds Set to Eliminate Water Regulations for Neurotoxin

Wired, Brandon Keim
Published December 3, 2008

Among the Bush administration’s final environmental legacies will be a decision to exempt perchlorate, a known neurotoxin found at unsafe levels in the drinking water of millions of Americans, from federal regulation.

The ruling, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in October, was supposed to be formalized on Monday. That deadline passed, but the agency expects to announce its decision by the year’s end, before president-elect Barack Obama takes office. It could take years to reverse.

Critics accuse the EPA of ignoring expert advice and basing their decision on an abstract model of perchlorate exposure, rather than existing human data.

“We know that breast milk is widely contaminated with perchlorate, and we know that young children are especially vulnerable. We have really good human data. So why are they putting a model front-and-center?” said Anila Jacobs at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. “And they used a model that hasn’t yet gone through the peer-review process.”

The ruling is one of dozens planned for the final days of the Bush administration. Others include a relaxing of air pollution standards for aging power plants, and a reduction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s traditional role in evaluating the impact of federal projects on endangered species.

These have received more attention than the status of perchlorate, a chemical found mostly in jet rocket fuel and detected in 35 states and 153 water public water systems. It is known to lower thyroid hormone levels in women; it poses a particular threat to pregnant women and breast-feeding children, whose long-term neurological development can be stunted by youthful hormone imbalances.

As many as 40 million Americans may now be exposed to unsafe levels of perchlorate, and the EPA’s own analysis puts the number at 16 million. The most comprehensive human exposure study, which measured unexpectedly high perchlorate levels and correlated them with thyroid hormone drops, was concluded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2007.

Environmental health advocates saw the study as supporting tightened restrictions on perchlorate levels in drinking water — something the EPA had been loathe to do under the Bush administration. The study was not considered in the anticipated ruling, which could effectively end federal monitoring of perchlorate in drinking water.

“If you used the human studies from the CDC, then you would be forced to regulate it, because we know there are health effects at current levels of exposure,” said Jacobs.

Benjamin Blount, co-author of the CDC’s study, would not comment on the EPA’s decision, but said that infants — who consume, proportional to their body weight, about six times more water than adults — “are thought to have a higher dose than at any other life stage.”

The EPA declined to comment on why they used a model rather than the CDC’s data in deciding that regulating perchlorate would not provide “a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water systems.”

In a November letter to EPA administrator Stephen Johnson, the EPA’s own Science Advisory Board questioned the model. “Its soundness will not be publicly vetted,” they wrote. Only one of two peer reviews invited by the agency has been received, and that was announced only today on the EPA’s website.

“The Science Advisory Board believes that more time is needed for the decision process and for scientific input,” said Joan Rose, a Michigan State University water researcher and chair of the Board’s Drinking Water Committee.

Even Michael Dourson, a researcher at the nonprofit Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment project who accepts the EPA’s model, doesn’t understand why the EPA favored it over human studies.

“The data is on pregnant women and babies, and these studies are quite powerful,” he said. “If they could spend more time to make their decision, I’d recommend looking at it.”

According to EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones, the agency expects to announce a decision “by the end of the year.” There is little reason to think the ruling will change from its current form.

“This administration has been adamant about not regulating perchlorate,” said Mae Wu, an attorney at the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council.

If the rulings go through, Congress may still take action. California congresswomen Barbara Boxer and Hilda Solis, both Democrats, have each drafted legislation that would force the EPA to regulate perchlorate, though it could take years to go into effect.

States still have the option of regulating perchlorate on their own — but this is not easy, said Charles DeSaillan, New Mexico’s assistant attorney general for natural resources.

“We have fairly limited resources. Historically we’ve relied on the federal drinking water standards, and adopted those,” he said. “In order for us to adopt our own, we’d have to do all the science, all of the research, hire the experts, and go through a regulatory process which would be opposed by the Department of Defense and Department of Energy.”

New Mexico is home to several prominent military testing facilities, and has the highest average perchlorate exposures in the country.

“It’d be long and difficult. Eventually we may do it. But it’s easier for us to rely on the EPA. This is their job. And in the case of perchlorate, they don’t seem to be doing it,” said DeSaillan.

 

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BPA leaches from ‘SAFE’ products

Originally called a radar range, the microwave heats food using a form of radiation.

Originally called a "radar range", the microwave heats food using a form of radiation. Using plastic in a microwave increases the number of harmful compounds transferred to your food - including BPA.

Our home came with a microwave oven, but we never – and I repeat – NEVER use it.

If we have to heat something up, it goes in a pan or in the oven. In my opinion, it is unnatural and unsafe to heat food up using microwaves. Some studies have shown that microwaving destroys nutrients, breaks apart vital enzymes, and changes the chemical structure of the food. (Now, it is true that traditional cooking does this, to some extent, as well.  Researchers are especially concerned because microwaves quickly and thoroughly degrade the food into non-bioavailable matter and turns the food into carcinogenic compounds.  Read this article to find several international studies regarding the dangers of microwave cooking.) With that said, I would never – and I repeat – NEVER heat up anything in the microwave in a plastic container. I do not like the idea of radiating my food with microwaves, which are related to gamma and X-rays, nor the idea of those waves causing plastic containers to release deadly chemicals into my food.

In my opinion, the food that manufacturers make to put into microwaves are barely “food” to begin with, let alone as a finished, microwaved product that has been destroyed by radiation. Michelle’s sister works at a day care, and the majority of the kids are sent to school with nothing but microwaveable meals everyday – breakfast, lunch and snack: Chef Boy Ar Dee mini meals, TV dinners, Hot Pockets, you name it. They’re all laden with preservatives, Genetically Engineered products, added synthetic vitamins (to make it healthier!), MSG, sodium and over-processed ingredients. I saw it as a grocery manager: more and more people are relying more and more upon microwaved foods. Gross. And we wonder why we get sick, feel fatigued, need to eat more, and suffer from a host of symptoms, all known to result from toxic chemical exposure.

In case you need one more reason NOT to use microwaves, it turns out that the estrogen-copycat Bisphenol-A leeches from plastic bottles when placed in a microwave – even those labeled as “microwave safe”.  Think of the poor infants who are being fed this way several times a day.   The age of convenience and technology is poisoning our future.  Read the following article for more:

The reality of one in every four will have cancer is that we are exposing ourselves at the earliest ages to dangerous chemicals.

The reality of "one in every four will have cancer" is that we are exposing ourselves at the earliest ages to dangerous chemicals that are known carcinogens.

MJ Sentinel: BPA leaches from ‘safe’ products

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger

Published November 17, 2008

Products marketed for infants or billed as “microwave safe” release toxic doses of the chemical bisphenol A when heated, an analysis by the Journal Sentinel has found.

The newspaper had the containers of 10 items tested in a lab – products that were heated in a microwave or conventional oven. Bisphenol A, or BPA, was found to be leaching from all of them.

The amounts detected were at levels that scientists have found cause neurological and developmental damage in laboratory animals. The problems include genital defects, behavioral changes and abnormal development of mammary glands. The changes to the mammary glands were identical to those observed in women at higher risk for breast cancer.

The newspaper’s test results raise new questions about the chemical and the safety of an entire inventory of plastic products labeled as “microwave safe.” BPA is a key ingredient in common household plastics, including baby bottles and storage containers. It has been found in 93% of Americans tested.

The newspaper tests also revealed that BPA, commonly thought to be found only in hard, clear plastic and in the lining of metal food cans, is present in frozen food trays, microwaveable soup containers and plastic baby food packaging.

Food companies advise parents worried about BPA to avoid microwaving food in plastic containers, especially those with the recycling No.&ensp7 stamped on the bottom.

But the Journal Sentinel’s testing found BPA leaching from containers with different recycling numbers, including Nos.&ensp1, 2 and 5.

“There is no such thing as safe microwaveable plastic,” said Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri researcher who oversaw the newspaper’s testing [emphasis mine].

The American Chemistry Council disputed the findings, saying publishing the results amounts to a “serious disservice by drawing a conclusion about product safety that simply cannot be drawn from either this study or the overall body of scientific research.”

Food company officials say the doses detected in the tests are so low that they are insignificant to human health.

“These levels are EXTREMELY low,” wrote John Faulkner, director of brand communications for Campbell Soup Co. Tests of the company’s Just Heat & Enjoy tomato soup showed its container leached some of the lowest levels of BPA found. “In fact, you might just be able to find similar levels in plain old tap water due to ‘background’ levels. We are talking 40 to 60 parts per trillion (ppt). What is 40 to 60 ppt? 40 to 60 seconds in 32,000 years!”

But the Journal Sentinel identified several peer-reviewed studies that found harm to animals at levels similar to those detected in the newspaper’s tests – in some cases, as low as 25 parts per trillion. Scientists with an expertise in BPA say the findings are cause for concern, especially considering how vulnerable a baby’s development is and how even tiny amounts of BPA can trigger cell damage.

Harm done during this critical window of development is irreparable and can be devastating, they say.

“This is stuff that shouldn’t be in our babies’ and infants’ bodies,” said Patricia Hunt, a professor at Washington State University who pioneered studies linking BPA to cancer.

Scientists say BPA and other chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system do not act like other toxins that become more potent as their doses increase. BPA behaves like a hormone. It mimics estrogen with effects that are ultra-potent. Even tiny amounts can trigger cell change.

[please read the entire posting at ewg.org]

Other posts re: BPA by Withonebreath:

That Chemical Cocktail is Killing You

Canada Bans BPA; US FDA Under Attack From Critics, Scientists and Lawmakers

The Body Burden: Toxic Chemicals in Our Bodies

Also see:

“Microwave Water Kills Plants” For what it is worth, this is an experiment conducted by a child. Her finding was that the microwaved water killed her plant. This was only one plant and was not a double-blind experiment, so anything could have gone wrong. It’s likely that this was a fluke, but it is, nevertheless, an interesting experiment.

“The Hidden Hazards of Microwave Cooking” @ http://www.health-science.com

 
 

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The Ubiquitous MSG: How to know if you’re eating an excitotoxin

Have you ever had stomach cramps, indigestion, or gas after eating Chinese take-out? Do you wonder why it’s so hard to stop eating Doritos once you’ve started munching? Do you suffer from frequent migraine headaches? If so, you may be one of millions of Americans that share allergic sensivitiy to a common food additive, monosodium glutamate.

Chinese buffet restaurants often use MSG in their foods, which gave the list of symptoms its name: Chinese Restaurant Syndrome (CRS). Yet, this excitotoxin can be found hidden in the majority of restaurant and home processed foods .

Monosodium glutamate, better known as MSG, is a flavor enhancer composed of the salt of the “non-essential human amino acid”, L-glutamic acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are the building blocks of our bodies. Essential amino acids are those that must be obtained through the diet, because the body cannot synthesize them on its own. Non-essential amino acids, on the other hand, are not a dietary requirement because the body is able to produce them as needed. L-glutamic acid is composed of glutamate, which is both a “key molecule in cellular metabolism” and the “most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian nervous system.”

Excitatory is defined by Merriam-Webster’s Online Medical Dictionary as that which “tend[s] to induce excitation (as of a neuron)”. Excitation is further defined as “the disturbed or altered condition resulting from arousal of activity (as by neural or electrical stimulation) in an individual organ or tissue”. So, as an excitatory neurotransmitter, it’s job is to chemically-stimulate the neurons into firing in an excited state.  If you think of neurons firing, each signal that is fired is like a key and it goes out across the synapse until it hits its receptor, the lock.  This process goes on trillions of times per day.

The neurotransmitter glutamate is believed to be involved in memory and learning in the brain, and is known to be key in the removal of nitrogen waste in the body (air is approximately 78% nitrogen and nitrogen is a key component in amino acids). Glutamate naturally occurs (called free glutamates) in meats, tomatoes, dairy products, eggs, mushrooms and sea vegetables like Kombu (seaweed) and can be assimilated quite easily by the body.  However, large amounts of glutamate in the system can be problematic as it disrupts the delicate balance in the brain between neurotransmitters that tell the neurons to fire and those that tell the neurons to stop firing.

As an excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate tells the neuron to fire and keep firing. If too much glutamate is in the blood, the neurons continue to fire leading to an overactivation of receptors in the brain which receive the messages. This leads to a condition known as excitoxicity, which can frequently result in damage to neurons. Excitotoxins like glutamate have been linked to more serious health problems, such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis (to name a few). Another excitotoxin related to MSG is aspartame, better known as Nutrasweet or Equal.

The common American trade name for man-made MSG is Accent, which can be found in nearly all supermarkets across the country, as well as in its generic form, monosodium glutamate.   The ubiquitousness of MSG is nowhere more apparent, however, than in restaurants and in packaged, processed foods available at the grocery store. Just look – it is in everything.  Don’t stop reading just yet, though, or you’ll probably not even see it.  Because of rising health concerns and related health incidents involving the overconsumption of MSG, product manufacturers have become quite efficient at hiding monosodium glutamate in a surprisingly large amount of products, including those labeled as “No MSG” or “No MSG added”.  They do this because of a loophole created by the FDA, which requires that the label list “monosodium glutamate” in the ingredients only if it is an added ingredient.  Some of the ingredients listed on the label, however, may contain MSG as an ingredient, but that does not have to be listed because, at that point, MSG is a constituent of an ingredient, not the ingredient itself.

The truth is, MSG can be found in a number of different ingredients and can be recognized by a list of names, including the most common: yeast extract, hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed protein and disodium inosinate. If you read your food labels, chances are high that you will find one of these ingredients listed.   Don’t stop there, however, “seasonings”, “spice”, soy sauce, protein isolate, textured protein, carageenan, Worcestershire sauce, “natural flavors”, and even malted barley all contain MSG. I challenge you to open your pantry and search for any of these ingredients. Chances are, you expose yourself and your family to this excitotoxin many times each and every day and you aren’t even aware of it. Furthermore, if you eat out alot, your chances are very high that you consume large amounts of MSG. For an extensive list of items that contain MSG, click here and here.

The widespread use of MSG in processed foods can make avoiding it very difficult. On the other hand, ignorance about MSG and its effects on the human body might be a large contributor to the many growing health problems Americans suffer from, including our nation’s epidemic obesity. MSG has been linked to cardiac, circulatory, gastrointestinal, muscular, neurological, visual, respiratory, urological and skin problems, including: arrhythmia, angina, palpitations, swelling, diarrhea, irritable bowel, rectal bleeding, joint pain and stiffness, depression, light-headedness, anxiety, mental confusion, hyperactivity, attention deficit, insomnia, seizures, blurred vision, asthma, chest pain, swelling of the prostate, hives, mouth sores and bags under the eyes. For a more complete list of these symptoms, click here.

Some of these symptoms, like headaches, anxiety and asthma, I suffered from quite frequently before I became more conscious of my diet and began eating all natural, organic whole foods.  Many times, I didn’t know the cause of my suffering and took over-the-counter medications to ease my discomfort. Yet, as they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By avoiding MSG, I have personally found that I suffer from fewer migraines and asthma.  It is quite possible that MSG, acting as an excitotoxin, was responsible for much of my previous discomfort. I was absolutely astonished at how many foods I was eating that contained one form or another of MSG, even those foods labeled “natural” and deemed more healthy alternatives.  I rarely eat out, but I will occasionally eat something at a restaurant and suffer some ill effects because of it. My first suspicion is always that MSG is the culprit.  It’s in the sauces, the marinades, the guacamole, the parmesan, the salad dressing and croutons …

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms and health issues and suspect that MSG might be the cause, you can very easily change your diet to determine this. Just be careful to watch out for all of the ingredients that like to hide MSG in them.

For more information, visit:

Truth in Labeling.org

MSGMyth.com

MSGTruth.org

Also see:

Campbell’s Selects Soup (“No MSG” means they still add “spice extract” and “yeast extract” – both containing glutamate)

Soup Base (states MSG “naturally occurs” in yeast extract and hydrolyzed proteins)

Disodium guanylate entry at Wikipedia (if you see this food listed, it’s because MSG exists somewhere else in the ingredients)

Health Dangers.com

 
 

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Everyday Pollution Solutions

In cleaning agents, carpets, paint, plastics, foods and cooking utensils, the chemical cocktail adding to our body-burden is nowhere more apparent than in our own homes.

In cleaning agents, carpets, paints, plastics, foods and cooking utensils, the chemical cocktail adding to our body-burden is nowhere more apparent than in our own homes. The CDC's chart is grossly inadequate. For example, formaldehyde (listed above) is a known carcinogen, but cancer is not listed in the health effects.

Everyday Pollution Solutions
Your Guide to Going Green

1. Use cast iron pans instead of nonstick. Read about Teflon health concerns.

2. To avoid chemicals leaching into food, go easy on processed, canned or fast foods and never microwave plastic. Read about Bisphenol A, a toxic food-can lining ingredient associated with birth defects.

3. Buy organic, or eat vegetables and fruit from the “Cleanest 12” list. Find out more about the “Dirty Dozen.”

4. Pregnant women should use iodized salt to combat chemical interference from the thyroid. Read about rocket fuel’s effect on the thyroid.

5. Seal outdoor wooden structures. Order a test kit to find out if your wooden deck, picnic table, or playset is leaching arsenic.

6. Leave your shoes at the door. This cuts down on dust-bound pollutants in the home [and germs].

7. Avoid perfume, cologne and products with added fragrance. Search for personal care products that are fragrance-free, or check the products you’re already using.

8. Buy products with natural fibers, like cotton and wool, that are naturally fire resistant. Use our list of products and manufacturers to avoid the chemical flame retardant PBDE.

9. Eat low-mercury fish like tilapia & pollock, rather than high-mercury choices like tuna & swordfish. Check our Safe Fish List to see which fish to avoid and what’s safe to eat.

10. Filter your water for drinking and cooking. How does your tap water stack up? Search our tap water database to see what you’re drinking. [see also, “Chemical Contaminants: Bottled Water vs. Tap Water“]

11. Learn your personal body burden. Take a step-by-step tour of your home to learn the toxic truth about how household products contribute to your body burden of industrial chemicals.

[from EWG.org]

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2008 in Current Health News, Food, Health & Wellness

 

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